Loaded with garlic and a touch of lemon, this Garlic Shrimp Scampi is a quick and easy dinner fix that’s loaded with flavor! Serve this easy shrimp scampi recipe with rice or pasta for a hearty meal!
There’s no doubt that Garlic Shrimp Scampi is a decadent meal, but it’s wayyyy easier to make than you might think! Restaurants love having this dish on the menu because it takes hardly work to make. And now, thanks to easy-peel shrimp, making this dish even on a weeknight can be an easy fix.
What You Need
- A skillet
- Shrimp – See my notes below on the best shrimp.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted is fine.
- Garlic – Fresh is best!
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Chicken broth – Use low or no-sodium added to control the salt.
- Green onion
- Fresh parsley
What Kind of Shrimp Are Best In Shrimp Scampi
Look for raw peeled and deveined shrimp or easy-peel shrimp. These are the best pick for this recipe.
Easy peel shrimp have been sliced down the back of the shell and had the ugly vein removed. Just peel open the shell and pop the shrimp out.
Peeled and deveined are, of course, just ready to use.
Don’t use pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe, or they’ll overcook.
Also, get the best shrimp you can! When I lived in Texas, we had readily available wild Gulf shrimp. Those were the best! If you’re not so fortunate as to be near a coast, wild Argentinian shrimp are more and more available. Try to stay away from farmed shrimp from Vietnam or India.
How To Make Shrimp Scampi
- Melt the butter in a skillet large enough to hold all the shrimp in one layer.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and cook, turning them over once.
- Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan and add the lemon juice and zest, and chicken broth to the skillet.
- Bring it back to a simmer, then turn off the heat.
- Add green onion and parsley to the sauce, then pour it over the shrimp and enjoy!
Chef Jenn’s Tips
- I like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes to this easy shrimp scampi recipe to add a bit of heat
- The green onion and parsley are optional but it adds so much flavor and color
- Lemons don’t all have the same amount of flavor! Taste the sauce before serving and adjust the lemoniness to suit you
- Don’t forget the salt and pepper! But add it at the end because sometimes shrimp is salty and salted butter will add all the salt you (probably) need.
Make it A Meal
If I’m watching carbs I’ll eat this garlicky Shrimp Scampi just like it is, or other times I’ll serve shrimp scampi with pasta or even rice. It’s up to you!
Also, pick a nice bright green veggie to go with this dish. Broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or even sauteed cabbage are all good picks. Just keep the veggies kind of simple, so they don’t steal the scampi’s thunder. And for dessert, put out a plate of these Fruity Pebbles Bars!
This Garlic Shrimp Scampi recipe can be kept tightly covered in the fridge for a day or two.
Seafood shouldn’t really be kept longer than that.
You can also freeze this dish, but be careful reheating it, or you’ll overcook the shrimp, and they’ll get hard and rubbery.
Shrimp will turn opaque and pinker when cooked, and they’ll start to curl up. You don’t want them to be tightly curled (they’re then overcooked). Peeled shrimp will also cook faster than unpeeled shrimp.
If you’re in a real pinch you can thicken it with 1/2 tsp of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp of chicken broth which you then whisk into the sauce and let boil to thicken. Or, you can whisk in some cold butter to the warm sauce. Honestly though, this recipe is pretty nearly perfect without more butter or cornstarch.
No. Theirs is a bit different plus they add asparagus and red bell pepper to the sauce. This is a more traditional Italian version of shrimp scampi.
Step By Step Process
Garlic Shrimp Scampi
- 1 pound shrimp
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp green onion sliced thinly
- salt as needed
- Peel and devein the shrimp if necessary. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Add the butter to a heavy-bottomed skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic and stir it around for a minute until the garlic cooks.
- Add the shrimp all at once, and keep them in one layer in the pan. Turn the shrimp over after a minute or two (depending on the size) and cook through.
- Remove the shrimp from the pan and remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir well to combine. Add the chopped parsley and green onion and heat through.
- Pour sauce over the shrimp and garnish with a few lemon wedges. Dig in!
A Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.